Deacon's Desk

Thanksgiving; a Parade in History

Thanksgiving; an old American Holiday! A genuine Christian celebration, that thanks God, for watching over the Pilgrims that were thrown up on the shores of Massachusetts in November, 1620 – An event that reminds us of Acts 28:2; the arrival of the Apostle Paul onto Malta: “The native people showed us unusual kindness, for they kindled a fire and welcomed us all, because it had begun to rain and was cold.” – A tradition that continues in our modern society, but with unclear priorities… the families are still gathering and feasting, but the highlight of the day is not thanking God for His blessings, rather the football game! If we think about God at all, it usually involves saying a few simple pre-turkey-carving prayers. And the true original story had long forgotten and altered. Every school child has been told for decades upon decades that the Pilgrims came to America for religious liberty, or religious freedom. Not quite right. Shallow history teaching!
Consider the fact that, if their motivation had been primarily about religious liberty, they could have stayed where they were. They already had it. But what compelled them was much deeper than that. They weren’t running away from anything when they came to America — they were obeying the call of Christ in their lives!
In reality they were missionaries, coming to the New World to plant the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the wilderness. As their great governor and chronicler, William Bradford, wrote: “They had a great hope and inward zeal of laying some good foundation…for the propagating and advancing the Gospel of the kingdom of Christ in those remote parts of the world; yea, though they should be but even as stepping-stones unto others for the performing of so great a work.” Obviously, they had a strong sense of call and mission.
The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving was far more different than our celebration today. A fact that we should never forget; God gave the new comers a great opportunity to start a new nation based on faith and the word of God. Today, this Christian founded nation is getting emptied out of faith, and stripped of the word of God. If it wasn’t for few godly men and women, guided by the Holy Spirit, preaching the truth, you’d think yourself living in the Roman Empire era!
God is always a great giver and merciful, but we humans are not good thanks givers! He gave Himself for our salvation; He conquered the devil in every battle for our sake; what have we given Him back?
We sing: “God bless America, land that I love, stand beside her and guide her thru the night with a light from above…” God continuously gives us the light through His Gospel, and His blessings onto us are infinite. Yet, some groups are working hard on stripping this country from Christianity and God; did you ever ask:
Why do they remove the Ten Commandments and nativity scenes from public property?
Why do they ban songs such as Silent Night from schools?
Why renaming ‘Christmas break’ to ‘Winter break’?
Why are they refusing to allow students to write about the Christian aspect of Christmas in school projects?
Why refusing to allow a city sponsored Christmas parade to be called a Christmas parade? Why not allowing a Christmas tree in a public school?
Why renaming a Christmas tree displayed on public property a Holiday tree?
Why working on removing “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance?
Why promoting to remove “In God We Trust” on our currency?
The list is far longer than that… it is scary to think how Christianity is being persecuted on the land of a Christian founded nation, and all under the flag of freedom!
This brings us to recall God’s mercy on the Israelites throughout the Old Testament; in Exodus God helped them escape from Pharaoh and ended their captivity in Egypt. Yet, their thanksgiving to God was by becoming corrupt, and turning their backs to God; they made themselves a golden idol in the shape of a calf, and worshiped it – not too much of a difference to what we’re doing nowadays! God named them “stiff-necked people,” and wanted to destroy them, but Moses sought the favor of the Lord, his God. It was Moses’ prayers and thanksgiving that had the Lord relent and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.
One man’s prayer and thanksgiving saved a nation. I hope this nation would truly go back to God, stop being “politically correct/corrupt”… and pray in Thanksgiving for the Lord’s mercy.
We thank you Lord, for everything you’ve given us; according to the Apostle Paul: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1Thessalonians 5:16-18)
We thank you Lord, for the prosperity and comfort that we live in this country, even during the worse economic times. Yet, we don’t forget our sisters and brothers in the Middle East that are being persecuted for Your name. We keep them in our prayers, and we ask you to protect them and provide them shelter.
May this Thanksgiving be blessed and joyful to all, and may His mercy be on all of us…

Deacon Michel Samuel Massoud
May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ